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Panpa Bulletin : July 2006
32 | PANPA BULLETIN July 2006 industry? More than you think. Have you ever been a member of a local committee and you needed to get a message out lo- cally? The first place each mem- ber thinks of advertising or pro- motion is the local paper. Yes, you are their first point of con- tact. Yes, you have an enormous impact and the major position within your local communities. For the larger newspapers it's time to think micro. Not only will you make a major differ- ence to those that inhabit your community but you will also make a difference to your bot- tom line. Corporate Community In- volvement or Investment (CCI) is often the most visible part of a company's social responsibil- ity program. It is about the way in which a company shares its resources with the communities that it impacts upon. It encompasses all forms of company support for the community, including charitable donations, commu- nity projects, employer-sup- ported volunteering, sponsor- ships, cause-related marketing and gifts in kind. Investing in the community in which you operate is consid- ered to be an important part of your corporate responsibilities. There are many benefits to hav- ing a community program. • Staff morale - com- munity programs help boost morale, commitment and per- formance and pride in the com- pany. They build a more moti- vated workforce who see their job as contributing not only to company profits, but also to society as a whole. A good com- munity program can help in the recruitment and retention of quality staff. • Improvements to the environment in which you operate -- community pro- grams help create healthier social and economic envi- ronments in which to live and work. • Personal and profes- sional development -- com- munity programs develop skills that can be transferred to the workplace. They can help employees build self- confidence, leadership and decision-making skills. • Company reputation -- community programs strength- en the company's public image and reputation both internally and externally. This also helps build integrity of the company's brand, increasing shareholder and customer loyalty. • Government and opinion formers see commu- nity involvement as an impor- tant issue which can affect the way your company is perceived. Good community programs can also help to create a more favourable legislative environ- ment in which to do business. There is a need now for com- panies and the community to work together. In recent years the issues of corporate citizen- ship and sustainability have captured companies' attention. One that comes to mind is the environment. Many companies these days openly market their support of the environment and what they are doing to make a difference. Increasingly a range of stake- holders far broader than those with a shareholding in the busi- ness demand greater accounta- bility. Consumers and commu- nities are more aware of their rights. I saw a need out there for the corporate world to set a stand- ard - a benchmark that can be met and that is marketed and known by the consumers so we can alleviate the unknown and the scepticism. There are many socially re- sponsible companies among us. The problem is over the years the public has been cyni- cal. As soon as someone do- nates a large amount of money you hear the public say 'that's nice but it's probably for tax reasons' or 'it's just a marketing ploy'. Vice versa as a company you have to be very careful and do your diligence on choosing a charity or cause. It's time to make a real differ- ence so that everyone wins and we make lasting impact not just slight bumps every now and again. It's time to set a standard, a benchmark and show that, yes, companies do really care and want to make a difference and, yes, they do have a right to have it acknowledged. This is how Community Con- scious Companies was born. I have had the joy of working in the corporate arena and as a volunteer within non-profit or- ganisations, boards of manage- ment and many other commu- nity involvements for the past 13 years. The community is my hobby. I did this to merge two pas- sions, to make a real difference with a product I know will ben- efit everyone and also use that same product to give back to the community. Ad It Last is the first Commu- nity Conscious Company and is the prototype for this new business model so we can get it right and set our standards high for our charter. So far we have donated a per- centage of our company to our charity of choice, NAPCAN (Na- tional Association for the Preven- tion of Child Abuse and Neglect). Making NAPCAN shareholders means we can assist them to be financially sustainable for the long term. This also means between us we share a vested interest in each other's identities. I work closely with NAPCAN for what is ben- eficial and assist them and vice versa. We donate three per cent of our net profits to them and also provide pro bono work. Our internal business meth- ods and procedures incorporate our social conscience. We allow staff days off for pro bono work, set and retain high ethical stand- ards within the company, assist and support our staff to involve themselves in the community. Part of our relationship also means we will do promotion and marketing. We are here to assist NAPCAN therefore assist our communi- ties. We have many exciting ini- tiatives planned for the next 12 months that will incorporate our community involvement whilst taking our product to market. We know we can make a differ- ence and make it last. Over the next 12 months we will market Community Conscious Companies as an initiative. Part of our marketing will be to tell the public what it means when a company has been endorsed Community Conscious. Then the public can put aside their scepti- cism and acknowledge a com- pany that has a conscience and hopefully reward those compa- nies by supporting them. On a personal note I have found over the past two years whilst developing Ad It Last and taking it to market and enjoying the highs and lows of a new ven- ture in the corporate world that working with NAPCAN and de- veloping Community Conscious Companies has kept me ground- ed and enormously focussed. I recommend to any corpo- rate person the benefits of tak- ing time out, jumping the fence every now and again and looking at the world through the glasses of someone whose business is cause related, someone who gets up each day to make a difference to a life, someone who relies on the goodwill of others, those that run the many non-profit organi- sations around the country. Through their eyes, their busi- ness initiatives and their faith in people you might change your outlook on how and why you do certain things. I guarantee it will make a positive and beneficial difference. As we say at Ad It Last, Make It Last. Christine tutone is the managing director of aditlast.com.au, a new advertising portal for media companies to sell last minute and discounted advertising to small and medium-sized businesses. The community road to success Ad It Last is the frst Community Conscious Company and is the prototype for this new business model